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Outstanding Young Scholar Nomaguchi providing insight into family dynamics

BOWLING GREEN, O.—From a very early stage in her career as a sociologist, Dr. Kei Nomaguchi has had an impact on the discipline, on students and on the public’s understanding of the issues she primarily studies: parental and child well-being and gender and families.

BGSU has also recognized her worth as a scholar and teacher by giving her the Outstanding Young Scholar Award, presented by Dr. Michael Ogawa, vice president for research and economic development and dean of the Graduate College, at the Faculty Excellence Awards on April 16. The award brings a $1,000 credit to the recipient's discretionary research account, in addition to a $2,000 cash award.

The Young Scholar Award enhances the academic career of outstanding junior faculty by providing discretionary funds for the support of future scholarly activities and aids in building closer ties between BGSU and the local community.

Nomaguchi, an associate professor, joined the BGSU sociology faculty in 2009 and is also a member of its Center for Family and Demographic Research and the National Center for Marriage and Family Research, as well as an affiliate of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program.

She has kept up an active research agenda, according to her nominator Dr. Susan Brown, chair of the Department of Sociology. “She is conducting work in a core area of the discipline,” Brown said, advancing scholarship on parenting behaviors and well-being. Her work “fills a notable gap by addressing the experiences of parents,” Brown noted.

Her research regularly appears in the top journals in the field, and three of her articles in the Journal of Marriage and Family have already been cited more than 100 times each. The New York Times, Psychology Today, Working Mother and other outlets have also cited her work in the past few years.

Nomaguchi has also found success as a grant applicant. Among her work, her application to the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development received a perfect score and she was awarded funding on the first submission. “This stellar performance is a testament to the high caliber of her research and is particularly impressive given that she was at an early stage of her career at the time of the submission and was the sole investigator on the project — this was 100 percent her work and effort,” Brown said.

In a field that typically involves complex quantitative data analysis, “I can attest to her research prowess,” Brown wrote. She is “adept at manipulating large, multi-wave data sets to provide novel, dynamic insights on parents, children and well-being. Her ability to analyze longitudinal data allows her to answer more sophisticated questions, such as how family structure changes are linked to changes in parenting behaviors.”

Sought after as a collaborator, Nomaguchi is forging research collaborations with both students and faculty colleagues. She has already published with one graduate student and five BGSU faculty members and has plans to include others as well as undergraduates in her projects. “Student demand to work with Professor Nomaguchi is growing as she establishes her reputation for training and collaborating with some of the top students in our graduate program,” Brown said.

Nomaguchi’s scholarly reputation spans multiple domains of sociology, Brown said. She was invited early on to serve on the editorial board of the Journal of Marriage and Family and recently joined the board of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, a top specialty journal published by the American Sociological Association. She also provides regular service to the Population Association of America.

“A wonderful colleague,” Nomaguchi “is a key contributor to a vibrant research community in the sociology department,” Brown said.

Nomaguchi received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Maryland College Park, in 2003, and her master’s degree in the field from the same institution, in 1999. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in European and American history from the University of Tokyo, and taught at Northern Illinois U